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Some Questions and Updates Before Cuba

October 9, 2008

The USMNT has been hitting the training field hard this week in preparation for Saturdays match against Cuba.  After the first day of training, new man Torres had this to say:

“The first day was good. I was really nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. Everyone has treated me really well. I started to feel very comfortable, and after the first day of training I’m feeling better and better.”

Also, Michael Bradley took the time to chime in about the coaching change at BMG:

“Ziege is the sporting director and everyone has a relationship with him… He is around every day, he sits on the bench at the games, he is out at training quite a bit. I think it will be a good thing for me because, at the end of the day, he was the one who really, really pushed hard to bring me to the club… I think he has confidence in me and he likes the qualities that I can bring to a team.”

So that sounds like good news for the young Bradley and hopefully he’ll start to feature more strongly for the German side.

Back to US training camp, you can see a few video highlights of training here:

So what do we thinkg about Cuba? Well first off, sadly I think Brian Ching is a lock to start up top.  That will probably bring a frown to the faces of some Yanked Around readers, but in any case Ching is a veteran and seems to be in good graces with the coaching staff.  We all know how the USMNT loves “experience.”  I think there is a small chance Jozy could start, but the more realistic notion is that Donovan would start up top and then Jozy would come on in the second half to spell one of the forwards.  Another interesting question remains regarding Torres: Even though this is his first camp, does Bradley throw him in the game to cap-tie him to us?  I think Torres is pretty committed to the US program, so I don’t think it’ll be disastrous if we DON’T cap him, but it is still something to consider.  I think we will see the same starting lineup we’ve seen in the past:

Howard

Dolo, Gooch, Boca, Pearce

Dempsey, Bradley, Kljestan, Beas

Donovan, Ching

The least certain starter is Sacha, but I do think he’ll get the nod over Edu, who hasn’t seen enough playing time with Rangers yet.  I think the back four is immovable, and given Dempsey’s strong play for Fulham last week as a forward, we COULD see him up top, but I think he belongs in the midfield for the Nats.

The more interesting hopes arise when we consider what subs might see the pitch.  With a bench of Jozy, Adu, Davies, and Torres, you have to hope we grab a few goals early in the first half so we can see some fresh blood as soon as possible.

What do you think about our lineup for Saturday? Any different ideas about our starting lineup?  Think we’ll crush Cuba?

–psc

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One comment

  1. What the heck is so great about Brian Ching? Does Bob Bradley just like losing posession right in front of the opposing goal? Ugh…

    It takes a blind man not to see Jozy has world class potential and needs the seasoning a lot more than Brian ‘slightly above-average at best’ Ching. It’s bad enough Jozy is currently a non-entity for Villarreal.

    Nevertheless, I’m expecting a 4-6 goal torrent against Cuba, and I agree that the best scenario is for a handful of them to come early, so that Bradley will actually use his subs to get the younger guys some playtime, something he hasn’t done enough of in my opinion.



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